Cover beans with 2 cups of water and allow to soak for 6 – 12 hours. Drain and rinse.
Add 2 cups of water and beans to a saucepan. Turn heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until tender, checking occasionally to ensure there is enough water to keep beans from scorching. Drain excess water, if necessary.
(NOTE: The above step can be done ahead. Store beans tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
Heat the oven to 475℉ degrees.
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute for 5 -10 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, red pepper flakes and cumin and saute for 30 seconds.
Add the beans, water and generous pinches of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Bake until the cheese has melted, 5 to 10 minutes. If the top is not as browned as you’d like, run the skillet under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes.
Serve immediately with corn chips, crusty bread, pita or rice.
6 servings, 245 calories per serving (dip only)
Hack: Freeze leftover portions sealed in serving-sized portions for future use. Allow to thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating.
Hack: One cup of frozen onions can be substituted for fresh onion in this recipe.